Fast and furious roller derby comes to Bath
It's fast, it's furious – and it's coming to Bath.
Women in the city are being encouraged to strap on their skates and try their hand at the all-female contact sport roller derby.
The sport with its roots in America was made famous by the 2009 Drew Barrymore film Whip It and is now taking off across the country.
It involves teams of five women, wearing roller skates, travelling around an oval-shaped track and trying to get their point-scorer or "jammer" through the pack of opposing players.
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The jammers have to make it through the pack of skaters and skate a full lap to enter the pack again, while avoiding the opposition's attempts to shove, barge or knock them to the ground.
All players have to be over 18 and wear helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards – mouth guards and shin pads are optional – because it can get rough out on the track.
Now a group has been set up in Bath and is looking to recruit new members and find a permanent home.
Cat Clark, 25, who lives in London Road, is one of the founding members and said she believed there was a demand for it in the city.
She said: "I just heard about the Bristol team and was hoping there was something in Bath, so started asking around and looking online.
"I found that there wasn't a team, but one of the Bristol girls was interesting in starting a group in Bath."
The Bath Roller Derby Girls, who currently practise at Green Park Station, have only had a couple of training sessions but have already managed to pick up around 20 members.
Jo Barnfield, who lives in the city centre, said the sport was open to people of all ages and fitness levels, with the only stipulation being that members should be keen to chip in and get involved with all aspects of the group.
The 40-year-old, who took up roller derby two years ago and had previously travelled as far afield as Swindon to play, said: "You need to have a "have-a-go" attitude, because you don't just turn up and play, you have to help with organisation, scoring, publicity, everything really.
"I have never been sporty in the past, but for some reason this really pulls people in and they want to give it a go."
The group train at Green Park Station from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday evenings and beginners are welcome to turn up to watch or have a go.
Anyone who would like to find out more or can offer an indoor training space or sports hall should go to www.bathrollerderbygirls.blogspot.co.uk or the group's Facebook page by searching Bath Roller Derby Girls.